Adventure Time! Female Creators! Book Signing! Punk Rock Album Covers! We’ve got it all in this exclusive interview with Ignatz Award winning creator Liz Prince, signing copies of her story in the Adventure Time spin off Marceline and the Scream Queens #3 at Hub Comics this Sunday at noon.
Friend of the League Liz Prince was asked to be part of the biggest cartoon phenomenon of the last few years. Adventure Time follows the story of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human in the Land of Ooo. The comic from Kaboom! was an instant sellout, enough to warrant a spin off mini for the red-sucking rocking vampire Marceline. Issue #3 of Marceline and the Scream Queens features a backup story by Liz. You can get the book signed at Hub Comics on September 30 from noon to 3 p.m. Here to promote the signing is Liz the Human.
First off, can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and drawing comic books?
Liz Prince: I’ve been making my own comics since I was about 10 years old. Back then, it was all very derivative stuff like “Bat Rat” (Batman, but as an anthropomorphic rat instead of a human) and “Scott the Angry Paper Cup” (which was suspiciously like Evan Dorkin’s classic of misanthropy “Milk & Cheese“).
I started drawing my own auto-bio comics towards the end of high school.
You had a hit with “Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed?”, containing personal stories about relationships. Do find revealing details of your personal life puts you in an awkward position?
I’m pretty comfortable with revealing things about myself in my comics; but that being said, there are plenty things that I keep to myself.
The only time it ever gets awkward is when people think that they know everything about me because they follow my comic strip. That and when they tell me stories about how they pissed in their beds, because I’ve never actually done that (at least since I was three or four).
At conventions, do people that know your work ask you personal questions?
Not usually. At a convention in France once a woman accused me of fabricating real life relationships in order to draw about them, but what she was trying to say might have been getting misinterpreted by the person who was translating for her.
Let’s talk Adventure Time! Honestly, I saw the Adventure Time book debut and had never seen the show so I was like ‘what the lump is this’? I passed it by on the rack and regretted not grabbing that #1. Were you on board the Adventure Time train since you first heard about the series?
I was on board as a fan. I had been sent the original pilot as a YouTube link in 2006 by some other comic book friends of mine who claimed that it was what would happen if I made a TV show, so it was exciting to see it become an actual series on Cartoon Network a few years later. So far this Lemongrab story is the only thing I’ve done for the franchise.
Adventure Time is more my speed than My Little Pony. Do you think there will be a cute cosplay rivalry at conventions between the two camps?
I like the idea of a rivalry being “cute”. I have seen hundreds of Adventure Time cosplays since the show came out, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a My Little Pony cosplay, and I don’t know that I want to see what that would look like because I’ve always hated My Little Pony (loses all her fans).
What’s appealing to you about the characters in the Land of Ooo?
Literally everything: their design, their personalities; the fact that the show is bright and fun, and is definitely for kids, but that there is that Ren & Stimpy sensibility where some of the jokes are really more geared towards adults.
The book you have your story is a spinoff title, Marceline and the Scream Queens.
Looks like the music scene is competitive in Ooo. Just like real life. What parameters did Kaboom set for you when asking you to do the backup?
The only instruction I was given was that the story had to be seven pages, and that it had to be about music in some way.
Cartoon Network had to approve everything, and the only change they made was that I couldn’t use the anarchy symbol.
So, you like music, yeah? I thought we saw you at a show or two!
Yeah that was me you saw climbing over people to finger point at a pop-punk show. It’s been great to be able to give back to the punk community by doing art: drawing comics for If You Make It and the long-standing punk zine Razorcake, doing album covers or t-shirts for bands, some show posters, and being the shop artist for a record store in Baltimore called Celebrated Summer Records.
I always like to ask artists and writers how they promote themselves. Are you familiar with the #comicmarket hashtag on twitter? You’re a smart independent writer and artist. Besides commissions, how do you pitch your books and in general your skills? Your convention schedule always looks pretty full!
I don’t know about the #comicmarket hashtag, but perhaps I’ll look into that. Having two books come out from Top Shelf Productions, which is a very respected indie comics publisher, early on in my career has definitely helped me gain the kind of exposure needed to make it on the small scale that I have.
And yes, conventions are really important for getting new people interested in my comics; I try to do at least five a year.
If you do a short-form ‘zine’, how are you producing the finished product? Are you going to Staples? Or now that you are ‘bigtime’, do you have ‘people’ do that for you?
Haha, ‘bigtime’?! Someone tell my mom I’ve made it! No, I still fold and staple my books myself, but since I have such a high volume printed all at once, I usually use Gnomon Copy in Harvard Square and have them do all the printing.
I’m used to spending the better part of a day parked in front of Netflix with a bone folder and my long arm stapler.
And my cats help by sitting on top of my books and covering them with hair.
Thanks for your time, Liz. We’ll see you at Hub! Save me a Peppermint Butler sketch!
Liz Prince Signing at Hub Comics — Sunday, September 30 from Noon to 3pm.
Release party for story Fruit Salad Days, in Marceline & the Scream Queens #3
BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! CHECK OUT LEAGUEPODCAST.COM — BOSTON’S COMIC BOOK AND POP CULTURE PODCAST — “Thinking about Comics since 2009″!
League of Ordinary Gentlemen Podcast Episode #128 — In Your Pants
All 4 Gents convene to talk about Ghost #0, Catwoman #0, and Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (and how to obtain it. Shhhhh.) Don’t forget our costume party October 27th at McGreevys!
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